Reference Date: 26-March-2018
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Concerns over performance of upcoming 2018 cropping season in Far North Region due to insecurity
Cereal production in 2017 estimated at below average levels due to continuing insecurity in Far North Region
Alarming food insecurity conditions persist in northern and eastern regions due to refugee influx and internal displacements
Concerns over upcoming 2018 cropping season in Far North Region due to insecurity
According to satellite imagery, seasonal rains started in March in southern parts of the country, allowing the sowing of the first 2018 maize crop. Planting of coarse grains will progress northwards following the onset of the rains.
In the uni-modal rainfall areas of the North, planting of sorghum and millet is expected to begin in May. In the Far North Region, operations of land preparation continue to be severely affected by the civil unrest that spread from neighbouring Nigeria in late 2014.
Below average crop production obtained in 2017
In the bi-modal rainfall areas of the Centre and South, harvesting of the second season crops was completed in January 2018, while the main season harvest was concluded in October 2017. According to satellite-based analysis, rainfall was generally adequate and well-distributed from March to September 2017, benefitting vegetation conditions for both main and second season crops. In northern uni-modal areas in North and Far North regions, where sorghum and millet crops are predominantly grown, harvesting of the 2017 crops was concluded last November. Despite favourable weather conditions, the ongoing conflict resulted in displacement of people, causing input shortages and depleting the already inadequate households’ productive assets. As a result, the overall, total cereal production for 2017 is estimated to be below average.
Staple food prices rising in recent months
According to the International Monetary Fund, the average annual inflation rate fell from an estimated 2.7 percent in 2015 to a low 0.9 percent in 2016 and continued to decline further in 2017 to 0.7 percent. In 2018, the inflation is forecast to slightly increase but remaining at low levels (around 1 percent). The low inflation rates are in part due to the implementation of a tighter monetary policy (raising interest rates to slow down economic growth) as well as the country’s CFA Franc currency, which helps to anchor prices.
In the Far North Region, staple prices have been on the rise in recent months. As of March 2018, sorghum and maize prices are about 50 and 30 percent, respectively, above March 2017 levels.
Acute food insecurity situation in northern and eastern regions mainly due to civil insecurity
The overall food security situation has sharply deteriorated in recent years due to multiple shocks, including the influx of refugees from the Central African Republic and Nigeria, increasing civil insecurity and natural hazards. The majority of the vulnerable groups are located in the four regions of Adamaoua, East, North and Far North. In these regions, a substantial and increasing number of households are resorting to negative coping strategies.
In the Far North Region, the impact of the Boko Haram armed forces on civil insecurity has resulted in the displacement of about 236 000 Cameroonians and an influx of about 89 000 refugees from Nigeria. Furthermore, the resurgence of violence in the Central Africa Republic has led to an increased flow of refugees into the country since early 2017. Almost all new arrivals have settled into host communities in East and Adamaoua regions, increasing the local needs for humanitarian assistance.
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